It was that time of the year, again. There were only two things that made would made us brave the elements and risk everything in these horrible pandemic times: going back to the Soteno family in Metepec and continue my work with Héctor “Splintersaurus” Munive in the Spinosaurus project. soon to be unleashed in Kickstarter! We found that despite everything, Mexico is well prepared regarding the very much needed precautions. We avoided any public transport and every place you go was well sanitised, usage of masks compulsory and our temperature was taken at the entrance of virtually every place.
Besides directly landing and having a fixed base in Metepec, Toluca, our only other outing to Mexico City was when we had the pleasure and privilege to be transported directly to Héctor and Dahlia’s magnificent studio in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, a rather alien place for most turists… but hey, we are no tourists in Mexico!
After going through Sebastian‘s emblematic “Coyote” at the entrance of the city (yes, he was an old teacher of mine from San Carlos Academy more than 40 years ago!) we reached Héctor and Dahlia’s workshop…it was a chaotic albeit well organised place where the tools are always ready and the casts abounded everywhere. I even found a whole mural of mine right at the living room!
And yes, we got on directly to a double online session of dinosaur chat AND drawings… unfortunately out of reach of the personal presence of so many dinofans that would have liked to be there… all were absent except perhaps a handful of the greatest, including the mighty Yadira Albor and family with Kinich (a veritable future paleoartist) and the ineffable Isaac Camacho (youngest and greatest dinoexpert ever… every palaeontologist should be scared to lose their jobs to him!) with his mom Jana Ceja. Thanks to Julius Csotonyi for carnotaur inspiration!
Needless to say we got on quickly to premiere a first glance of Héctor’s models for the project. I have already written a good deal as introductory text and all my Spinosaurus sketches and illustrations are going to be featured inside the (probably) 50 page booklet, and posters accompanying Hector’s awesome 1:10 Spinosaurus skull cast.
The project might include, one day, either a full scale Spinosaurus skull or even a great baby Spinosaurus coming out on an egg. Héctor was adamant to get this done based on the hypothetical sketches I’ve already gave him and can be seen in other blogs here. On top of that we had an in situ, step by step casting session of my biggest, better preserved, Spinosaurus tooth I got from Morocco a long time ago, a cast that is going to also be an award included in the project.
This excellent day culminated with a fantastic meal, previewing Hector and Dahla’s new restaurant-in-the-making “Eating With Dinosausrs” previewing of the wonderful Txapataraptor (chicken, what else?) and Deinosuchus Arrachera sandwiches… crocodile bread included!
But it was time to get back to our Soteno family in Metepec and Israel was giving me a hand to finish this awesome Spinosaurs jar, Metepec Style! Israel and I spent a couple of evenings finishing it… a culmination of the Spinosaurus season.
Even the horrid, nightmarish trips wit Iberia were worth the aggravation at the end (They certainly did not cater Txapataraptor in the menu). I thank you Metepec and Mexico once again for making bearable these unbearable times. Hope we’ll meet again soon!